Airfix Orion Space Liner

KIT #: 6176
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: David Carley
NOTES: Lufthansa version



This is the shuttle from the film 2001. It's a great design, sleek and elegant. In the film Pan Am is the airline. But as they went bust in 1991, I decided to do a alternate version. I settled on Lufthansa as I wanted livery that was similar to Pan Am but still going well. I also thought it would suit the shape and colour of the spacecraft.


Not many parts in here, all moulded in white plastic. There's a small sprue of transparencies, and a stand (which comes in either clear or black, depending on what issue kit you can get hold of). I think at the moment this kit is out of production.

Decals are either Pan Am or an Airfix version. Some issues only contain the Airfix decals so be sure to check before you buy. This was due to a legal problem with Pan Am.

I started with the fuselage sides cleaned them of flash, and painted the interior around the windows black. I then painted the exterior frames white, before gluing the windows and cockpit glass in. I used a sheet of clear yellow plastic sheet, to add tint to the windows. This was cut longer than the windows and glued either side of them onto the fuselage, preventing any glue marks showing.

The fuselage comes in three parts, two sides and a base. The engines have to be placed before the sides are glued together. The base then slots in underneath, and I held it all together with the ubiquitous rubber band until set .

The wings come in two parts, and fitted quite well. These were glued in place when all the sub assemblies had dried. There are a few gaps both on the fuselage and wing roots that need filling and sanding. In hindsight it might have been easier to remove the locating pins, and marry the fuselage together by hand, as the alignment was out slightly.

I tried pre shading on this kit, which consisted of painting any panel lines with a medium grey enamel. I then masked off the windows and cockpit, and sprayed white acrylic, leaving the pre shade still subtly showing through.

Once dry I used matt black to pick out the maneuvering vents, anti glare panel and engine bays.
Next up was a thin black wash to enhance detail. And finally some exhaust stains on the numerous jets on top, bottom, and fuselage sides.

Transfers for my Lufthansa version were sourced from a 737 and a 707. I cut them out and dry run the fitting. Luckily between the two sets I was able to find a good “fit”. I kept to a clean looking craft, with minimal markings, like the original. I used the Boeing decal, as the craft does seem to fit the “clipper” mould.

 This is the easiest kit of the Orion Spaceliner to get hold of. It's reasonably priced, and a reasonable build. Probably more for fans of Sci Fi rather than kids, as they may find it rather boring.

Google image search of: 2001 film, Lufthansa, Orion Spacecraft

David Carley

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